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Final Regulations on Definitions of Family Member, Immediate Relative, and Related Terms

Monday, June 14, 2010
CPM 2010-11
Directors Of Human Resources And Equal Employment Opportunity
Nancy H. Kichak, Associate Director, Employee Services
Final Regulations on Definitions of Family Member, Immediate Relative, and Related Terms

I am pleased to inform you that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has issued final regulations concerning the definitions in 5 CFR part 630, subparts B, H, I, J, and K, related to family member and immediate relative for the use of sick leave, funeral leave, voluntary leave transfer, voluntary leave bank, and emergency leave transfer.  The regulations are available at

These final regulations were written in response to Section 1 of the President’s June 17, 2009, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on Federal Benefits and Non-Discrimination (
Memorandum-for-the-Heads-of-Executive-Departments-and-Agencies-on-Federal-Benefits-and-Non-Discrimination-6-17-09), to promote consistent application of policy across the Federal Government, and to allow the Federal Government to serve as a model employer.  Specifically, the regulations modify the definitions of family member andimmediate relative and create new definitions for associated terms.  The new and expanded definitions now cover grandparents and grandchildren, same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners, step parents, step children, foster, guardianship, and similar relationships. 

Please note that the new definitions do not apply to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  The situations in which an employee can invoke FMLA leave and the individuals for whom an employee can provide care under FMLA are specified in law.

Additional Information

For further information, you may contact your agency’s assigned OPM Human Capital Officer.  Employees should contact their agency’s human resources offices for assistance.